What was Paul trying to say?


#1

I am trying to study St Paul, but get confused, not unusual for me.

So to gain insight I submitted two post here. Some answers to the first were brilliant, but in general the replies were not very helpful.

I asked about Paul considering Jesus Lord, and what did this mean? Did Paul think Jesus was God, if so why? Secondly what did he mean by Son of God. It seems Paul considered God adopted Jesus as his son.

The next received no replies. I looked at Romans and tried to find out what Paul thought of Jesus. Did he consider him the Messiah (Christ) who would save his people and redeem them, from what and why?

So let me pose another query I looked at Mark’s gospel. Did David claim that God (Lord) requested Jesus (my lord) to sit at his (God’s) right hand?

I appreciate the query. How did David call Jesus his lord? Did he just know a Messiah would come?

Comments welcome, please.


David himself, inspired by the holy Spirit, said: 'The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?" [The] great crowd heard this with delight. (Mk. 12:36-37 NAB)


#2

If Paul is promoting Christianity, why would you think he had no idea who Christ was?
He was thrown from his horse and struck blind…but then he saw clearly after the voice of Christ spoke to him. And believed in Him.

The Jews were always looking for the Messiah to free them from their oppressors.
A Messiah was promised to them.

Re: Mark’s Gospel, read this:

catholic-resources.org/Bible/Mark-Christology.htm


#4

Saint Anthony8

you say you are interestred in what others people have to say about St Paul.
The answer seems to be for Catholics ‘not a lot’.

Protestants appear to favor St Paul, Catholics St Peter and Orthodox St Andrew. I am disappointed that there seems such little interest in Paul here.

Some time ago I told a friend I was trying to study Galatians and Romans and I was asked when did I become a Protestant.


#5

Well I guess you don’t go to Mass much.
St. Paul’s letters are read at nearly every single Mass. Twice in the Season of Easter at Sunday Masses.

:confused:


#6

Pianistclare,

many thanks for your reply. I appreciate it that you took the time to reply to me.

However your sole reply underlines my conviction that Catholics have little interest in Paul.

Paul had an idea about who Jesus was. But what was his idea? I am not sure I understand Paul’s view of Jesus. Paul as a Jew believed God was his father, he was a son of God. He also believed there is only one God and that Jesus and the Father were separate.

How do you know Paul was thrown from his horse. Was it a white horse? This underscores my point. There is no mention of Paul falling from a horse in the Bible.

Paul believed in Jesus. But what does this mean? Does it mean that he had trust in Jesus as the Messiah that would save the Jews, and/or that Jesus was the one true God (docetism ??).

You do not attempt to answer my question abot David and Lord/lord.


#7

Maybe they don’t mention a horse specifically, but it certainly IS in the BIble.
All of his writings are regarding Christianity.
Why would someone preach about being a Christian is they did not know CHrist or believe JESUS was the CHRIST? Answer that.

catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/did-saul-actually-fall-off-his-horse-on-the-road-to-damascus


#8

**
Pianistclare**

If I told you ‘that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ would you be impressed and consider my views worth considering?

So I will not tell you if I go to Mass (other that to say I am a Catholic). Would my views only be valid if I ticked certain Catholic boxes?

Your guess about Paul and the horse may be wrong, so your guess about my religious practice may also be wrong.


#9

Your profile says Catholic. that’s what YOU say.
Apparently not. :shrug:

I don’t know what you are trying to advance here.
Paul knew that Jesus was the Christ, He preached about it and had his students preach about all over.

What in the world are you trying to say about poor St. Paul?
That he was daft?
I’m out.


#10

St. Peter thought St. Paul was difficult to understand too. 2 Peter 3:16 - “He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

There is plenty of Pauline scholarship within the Church, just as Scripture in general. But there are certain pockets, or bubbles, where this is not seen.

The horse association is from the famous Caravaggio painting, not Scripture, though it is certainly plausible.

StAnthony8 - The teaching of Paul in Scripture is the teaching of the Church, the teaching of Christ, the teaching of God… This is what we believe about Scripture, that it is without error because it is inspired by God Himself. Some statements, however, are directed toward particular circumstances that no longer exist (like the lack of a veil for a woman in public being understood as a signal of “availability”), so one must understand what the text means within the whole.


#11

E_c

Thank you for your reply here and previous replies.

I wrote ‘Some answers to the first were brilliant.’ To avoid your blushes, I will not say whose replies I thought brilliant.

I consider there was not much love lost between Perter and Paul, as shown by Paul’s Letters, where he considered Peter a hypocrite.

You wrote ‘There is plenty of Pauline scholarship within the Church’. I agree fully and in a previous threads a list of many of these scholars was given.

You also wrote ‘The horse association is from the famous Caravaggio painting, not Scripture, though it is certainly plausible.’ I agree. You might like to look at bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/his/CoreArt/art/bar_cvggo_conv2.html.

In the past I used to go to Rome twice a year and spent much time looking at Caravaggio’s beautiful picture.


#12

**
Pianistclare**

I enjoy your posts, and am sorry to hear you are out. I regret you do not understand what I am trying to write.

You consider that apparently I am not a Catholic. I thought I was, being an unholy member of a holy church. But apparently I am not. I wonder what a Catholic is.

Some time ago a priest in our parish (I will not say it was at Mass, as that would reveal I attend Mass, which you doubt) asked that if there was persecution for being a Catholic would one he acquitted for lack of evidence. You think I would be.

It is agreed Paul considered Jesus the Messiah (Christ), the promised redeemer from God. There is no issue here, but what did he mean by Lord/lord and Son of God? As a Jew Paul believed his father was God, he also believed God is one and that Jesus and God were separate beings, just as my wife and I are separate people, even though made one in marriage.

I am trying to learn here several things. (1) what did Paul believe, (2) what did his original hearers understand from his words and (3) what does Paul have to say to us now.

Finally thank you again. I enjoyed your contributions. They encouraged me to think. I will miss you.


#13

He meant God, the Son of God.

It seems Paul considered God adopted Jesus as his son.

Huh? You’ll have to provide chapter and verse.

The next received no replies. I looked at Romans and tried to find out what Paul thought of Jesus. Did he consider him the Messiah (Christ) who would save his people and redeem them,

Yes.

from what and why?

From their sins (Heb 9:15). Because they had been approved by God and had not yet been admitted into heaven. (Heb 11).

So let me pose another query I looked at Mark’s gospel. Did David claim that God (Lord) requested Jesus (my lord) to sit at his (God’s) right hand?

Yes.

I appreciate the query. How did David call Jesus his lord? Did he just know a Messiah would come?

It was revealed to him by God (i.e. David himself, inspired by the holy Spirit, said)

Comments welcome, please.


David himself, inspired by the holy Spirit, said: 'The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?" [The] great crowd heard this with delight. (Mk. 12:36-37 NAB)


#14

De Maria,

Again may I thank you for all your replies to me? I am pleased you challenge me and request me to back up my points.

You ask for chapter and verse suggesting Paul held in adoptionism.

he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,(Phil. 2:8-9 NAB)

You might like to look at
biblicaltheology.com/Research/CostaT01.pdf


#15

I don’t understand why you start quoting from halfway through verse eight.

Phil 2:
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


#16

Isaiah 45:23 Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.

Paul applies this to Jesus in Philippians 2: 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord

And 1 Corinthians 8: 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

But certainly Paul knows Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things,
who stretched out the heavens alone,
who spread out the earth—Who was with me?

Paul had a high Christology. People try to mislead based on the fact that the language to discuss Christ’s divinity was under-developed at this point in time.


#17

Wesrock,

I did not quote all the verse, as I did not think the part omitted was relevant to the discussion.
In fact it raises another question 'Did Paul believe in Docetism?'
However thanks for your post, as it adds to the debate.


#19

It’s perhaps one of Paul’s most explicit references to Christ’s divinity, so it seemed to me very relevant to a discussion about what Paul believed about Christ.

In fact it raises another question ‘Did Paul believe in Docetism?’

To this I would quote Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, **born of woman, **

Paul’s word choice in greek implies that Jesus wasn’t just placed there, but that he took his flesh from Mary, which is an area that received widespread commentary from the ECF.


#20

St Anthony8

You wrote:
he (David) was trying to live as virtuous a life as he could.

I wonder.

I think we live in a world of alternative truths, when cuts are negative increases.

Was killing Uiah, so he could marry Bathsheba, trying to live a virtuous life?


#21

You’ll need to explain how this suggests adoptionism.

You might like to look at
biblicaltheology.com/Research/CostaT01.pdf

Well, you see. You seemed a bit frustrated when, in another response, I said you should study Catholic Doctrine. This paper is obviously written by a non-Catholic. I looked up the name and the individual is an evangelical Protestant.
freewebs.com/tonycosta/tonysbioandcontact.htm

One of the people whom he uses as a resource, is Bart Erhmann. A well known former Christian who fell away from Faith in Christ by reading the Bible without recourse to Catholic Doctrine.

The Catholic Church does not Teach this new heresy of adoptionism. If you knew Catholic Doctrine, this would have been the first red flag to tell you to drop this idea like a hot potato.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.


#22

He didn’t. He preached Jesus as raised from the dead. 1 Cor 15:12-20. Jesus’s death and resurrection wasn’t an illusion. If Jesus’s death and resurrection was an illusion, that he didn’t really die or suffer, then the whole business would be a fraud, wouldn’t it?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.